Volcanic eruption in Iceland threatens town of Grindavik

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The town of Grindavik in Iceland has been braving the dangers presented by a volcanic eruption and has managed to keep lava away from the evacuated community to this point.

Scientists have estimated that the eruption is weakening and could potentially fizzle out within the coming day or so if things continue to progress as they have.

On Saturday, the volcanic system on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Southwest Iceland, erupted for the fourth time in three months, sending jets of lava, soot and debris high into the night sky.

Reports from Iceland’s Meteorological Office suggest that 3 km long fissure has opened up in the ground, between the mountains of Stóra-Skógfell and Hagafell, due to the volcanic eruption.

On Sunday, it was revealed that lava from the eruption was flowing south and southeast at a rate of roughly 1km/h and the possibility of it reaching the ocean was quite high.

Grindavik Blue Lagoon Iceland. (Credits: Tornado Tackler, Facebook)
Grindavik Blue Lagoon Iceland. (Credits: Tornado Tackler, Facebook)

Subsequently, the authorities took measures such as erecting defensive barriers to keep the flow off the main road which runs along the southern coast of the peninsula.

The Blue Lagoon thermal spa, which is one of Iceland’s top tourist attractions, was abandoned as people were evacuated due to concerns for their safety, as information regarding the eruption, the course of the lava flow and the subsequent dangers were made clear.

The site of the eruption is just northeast of Grindavik and 50 km southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland‘s capital.

The coastal town of Grindavik is home to 3,800 people and was evacuated prior to the initial eruption on the 18th of December. Following the second eruption on the 14th of January, lava was sent in the direction of the town, putting it in danger.

Defensive structures were erected in time to cull the flow of the first eruption, but the second eruption got through partially, which resulted in the loss of several buildings, which were entirely consumed by the lava.

The first two eruptions lasted a few days and were followed by the third on the 8th of February. The third eruption lasted just a few hours but managed to encompass an important pipeline in lava which cut of vital supplies such as heat and hot water for thousands of people in the region.

Iceland has a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with volcanic eruptions, owing to the fact that the nation sits on a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic. Having said that, the damage caused by recent eruptions has had a disruptive effect on certain sections of the nation.

The most disruptive eruption in recent times was the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption in 2010 which shot large clouds of ash into the atmosphere and led to the closure of multiple air routes in Europe.

The latest eruptions are evidence of the reawakening of the the Svartsengi volcanic system after almost 800 years, which is a serious concern for the nation and the region as well.

The Reykjanes Peninsula is one of Iceland’s most densely populated areas, which makes dealing with regular eruptions even more daunting.

While no deaths due to the eruptions have been reported, it is said that one worker fell into a fissure that opened up due to the eruption and has been declared missing as of now.

Ana Allen
Ana Allenhttp://writeups24.com
Anna Allen, news writer at Writeups24, is a Harvard graduate with a passion for journalism. With her keen eye for detail and insatiable curiosity, she captures the essence of global stories. Anna's writing informs and delves into cultural nuances. To reach Anna, you can email contact@writeups24.com


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